How To Take a Safe Mexico Vacation
There are no foreign lands. It is only the traveler who is foreign.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Although vacation destinations like Mexico may be foreign to some travelers, they are are home to its residents who go about their normal routines. When vacation planning, remember that while traveling to foreign lands may seem unusual and perplexing, limiting your choices based on fears of the unknown or negative publicity can take all the fun out of going on vacation.
Mexico Travel: Reducing Travel Risks
It’s still possible to take a safe Mexico vacation and reduce travel risks! The essential measures for maintaining safety are: (1) increasing your awareness of surroundings and (2) modifying your behavior somewhat. That’s pretty much the basis of what you need to do to have a safe vacation. No matter how the media portrays the country, all of Mexico is not dangerous. With 31 states and one Federal District (Mexico City), millions of people lead happy, productive, secure lives countrywide – many in resort towns like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Mexico Vacation Planning
This doesn’t mean Mexico is crime free; crime exits everywhere. What’s important to consider is how safety warnings are announced and which people are affected by violent crime. Usually, a connection exists between drug-related violence and its victims: those involved in the drug trade, law enforcement officials who oppose it, and their families or friends – but not tourists.
Tourists who are the unfortunate victims of crime (more commonly, theft) are typically distracted by their surroundings and are not paying attention to where they are or what they’re doing. This is not due to the resort destination but rather, are actions that can be modified. If travelers monitor their environment, avoid certain situations, and follow the norms of their foreign hosts, they can still enjoy a safe vacation.
Consider applying these safe travel tips to your vacation in the Mexican Caribbean (i.e., Cancun), the Riviera Maya, the Yucatan Peninsula, or anywhere!
Travel Safety Tips
- Before traveling, get your bank’s international phone number, fax number, and email address, so you can contact them if your
credit or debit card gets lost or stolen. Be sure to buy travel insurance and bring enough cash or traveler’s checks.
- Scan images of your travel itinerary, airline ticket, hotel reservation, passport, driver’s license, and related documents before traveling, and send them to your own email address for easy access if they get lost.
- Make an effort to blend in with local residents by dressing in a similar fashion and not carrying large bags or wearing expensive items. Carry cameras, maps, travel guides, and other tourist items discreetly.
- In crowded places like airports, buses, tours, parks, events, and markets, watch people closely to reduce opportunities for pickpocketing. Commonly, one person will distract you while another tries to rob you.
- Before going on tours, consider the amount of cash needed and only bring that much, leaving credit or debit cards, extra cash, travelers checks, plane tickets, and passports in the hotel safe. Be discreet when taking cash out of your wallet.
- Tour with at least one other person, visiting only designated tourist places. If you’re not sure about safe locations, ask your hotel concierge. Don’t wander into questionable areas.
- When withdrawing cash from ATMs, only use machines inside banks, stores, or malls – not in concealed places – and store your cash quickly.
You can travel safely in Mexico and the world. Just remember, as a visitor on foreign soil, it’s in your best interests to be respectful and conscientious about your activities and behavior, since it’s unfamiliar territory. Before making your next vacation plans in Mexico, consider the beautiful, protected tourist area of Cancun’s hotel zone.